Most screenwriting nerds can be divided along an axis of DC Comics fans and Marvel men. Largely because of the too-young-to-realize-it-was-bastardized Superfriends, I ended up in the DC camp. But one of the things that’s kept me there has been the franchise’s willingness to accept that every once in a while, you need a good housecleaning.
Thus, you have events like Crisis on Infinite Earths, which, while clumsily executed, had the laudable goal of simplifying the DC Universe. Through drastic and sometimes painful choices, the editors succeeded in getting rid of extraneous characters and plotlines, effectively rebooting the world.
I have come to believe the same thing must happen in the real world. The time has come to rethink, retool and retire many of our celebrities.
I urge the editors of People, US Weekly and Star, along with their brethren at Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood, to consider my suggestions as merely the first part of a major and much-needed overhaul of the American celebrity system.
Tom, Katie and Suri
Can we just admit we have no idea where this storyline is going? It’s become embarrassing, the real-life equivalent of last season’s Alfre Woodard plotline on Desperate Housewives. Let’s just say they’re happy and fine. Is that true? I don’t know. I don’t care. Tom Cruise isn’t even shooting another movie yet, so it’ll be at least 18 months before he needs to resurface to do publicity. We can all take a break until then. Seriously.
Talented young actresses should be going to Princeton, not nightclubs. Rather than focussing on her weight, let’s examine how a 20-year old actress gets into bars every night. It’s not like she has a fake I.D. If I were the Chief of Police for New York or Los Angeles, I would gather all the press photos of Lohan with a cocktail in her hand and close every nightclub she’s photographed inside. Once her favorite watering holes are shuttered, Lohan can then get drunk at an Ivy League party like a normal young woman.
I bet most young mothers would come off poorly if photographed 24/7. She’s made a string of bad choices, but she’s clearly not a bad person. Let’s recast her as an Erin Brockovich-style underdog hero and root for her comeback. But not now. Let’s put her in storage for few years.
Closeted stars who are obviously gay
Enough with the winking and blind items. One reason that even minor stars don’t come out is because the press is so childish and nasty even when they aren’t naming names. Let’s declare a one-year moratorium on tawdry innuendo and see if we can at least get the bit players on crime shows to come out.
The cast of Laguna Beach
One of them needs to die under mysterious circumstances. That’s the only way I could ever be interested in them.
Uncool to photograph them unless they’re at a public event like a movie premiere. The first magazine to adopt (and stick to) this policy will earn tremendous goodwill from celebrities and publicists.
Killed in a blimp accident. Or moves to Germany, never to return. His choice.
Hot tennis players
Call me crazy, but I think we could use more of them. They’re wholesome; they’re goal-driven; they have a valid reason for fame, unlike Paris Hilton. I want them to date, break up, have drama, then happily marry and breed a new generation of athletes.
Obviously, this is only a rough draft of a much larger agreement that will need to be negotiated at the Celebrity Summit later this month. But, for the good of popular culture, I urge all of the editors and producers attending to take my suggestions — and your suggestions — to heart.